Using Paddle Crab For Bait.

[singlepic id=52 w=320 h=240 float=right]I’m often asked what is the best way to rig a crab for bait. I’m not sure about “best”, but this is the way I do it.
Firstly, it helps to have small crabs rather than monsters like this! >>

You can catch plenty of them in a collapsible  opera-net. Just put a bit of old bait in the bag and drop it into any shallow water around here and you will have a bucket full of them in no time.
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I find adding some lead weights to the bottom of the net helps keep the thing from rolling over in the surf. Also some people push a rod-stand or stake of some kind through the net to hold it down.

If you catch big crabs you can still use them, you just need to chop them up into smaller bits first.

Assuming you have smaller crabs for bait, this is how I rig them on a pulley rig with two hooks.
Remove the legs from one side of the crab. Insert the first hook into the centre-bottom of the crab and roll it out through one of the leg holes. Then insert the second hook  through the bottom of the crab and right out of the top of the shell. Bind the legs and trace to the shaft of the second hook with bait elastic.
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[singlepic id=117 w=320 h=240 float=none]

If there are paddle crabs in the area you are fishing, you may need to add floats to the rig (as above) because the live crabs will quite happily eat the bait crabs from your hooks..

2 thoughts on “Using Paddle Crab For Bait.

  1. 115jason


    I live in Napier were do you think i can get some of these paddle crabs. Also would the river mouth were the 3 rivers connect be all right?.


  2. Chris Post author

    There are paddle crabs all around the Napier beaches. The ones pictured in the net were at Ocean Beach. For some reason the sandy beaches seem to have smaller crabs than the shingle beaches. You can also catch them by casting out a fish head wrapped in nylon stocking mesh. They get tangled in it.



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